Video: Can Ketamine Help You Reduce Problem Drinking?

Video: Can Ketamine Help You Reduce Problem Drinking?

In this episode of Vice Video’s High Society series, a young man embarks on a full-blown ketamine trip in the hopes of reducing his compulsive drinking habit. It’s part of a controlled study led by Dr. Ravi Das, a psychopharmacologist at University College London, to examine whether ketamine can weaken certain memory connections — and thereby loosen the grip of addictive substances over people’s minds. From the Vice Video description: Timmy Davis is not an alcoholic. But like many twenty-something students, he’s worried he may be drinking too much. Timmy has volunteered for Dr. Das’ latest experiment, in which...
A Reverend's Moving Sermon About Psychedelics and Religion

A Reverend’s Moving Sermon About Psychedelics and Religion

“If I Could Change Your Mind,” preached by Reverend Mike Young at The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu on 5 November 1995. If, on some Sunday morning, I would step up here into the pulpit and announce to you that I had an experience available to you, that you could come to the church on a given Saturday afternoon and spend with me between six and eight hours and I guarantee — virtually guaranteed at least almost guarantee; well, pretty certainly guarantee; oh, a good chance — that you would experience a total transformation of your own mind,...
Scientists Unlock the Mystery of Magic Mushrooms, Allowing for Mass Production of Psilocybin

Scientists Unlock the Mystery of Magic Mushrooms, Allowing for Mass Production of Psilocybin

Some sixty years ago, Albert Hofmann — the Swiss chemist better known for discovering LSD — first isolated the active components of “magic” mushrooms, psilocybin and psilocin. Yet the question of how, exactly, the mushrooms produced these unique compounds remained a mystery ever since. Until now, that is. Scientists at Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Germany have identified the four key enzymes used by these fungal bio-factories to produce their magical ingredients. To accomplish this, Dr. Dirk Hoffmeister and his team sequenced the entire genome of two psilocybin mushroom species, Psilocybe cubensis and Psilocybe cyanescens. Even more impressive, they were...
Terence McKenna's Little Known Ambient Album About DMT

Terence McKenna’s Little Known Ambient Album About DMT

Dream Matrix Telemetry is the name of a 1993 album by UK ambient group Zuvuya and the psychedelic bard himself, Terence McKenna. Dream Matrix Telemetry — Now where have I seen those initials before? Ah yes, dimethyltryptamine, the so-called “Spirit Molecule.” McKenna’s calm, echoing monologue — set to a backdrop of bizarre but relaxing sci-fi synths and melodies — begins like this: D.M.T. is an extraordinary hallucinogen that lasts only a few hundred seconds at the peak of the flash. It is something which is smoked. Something waxy. Orange. Smelling of camphor. You vapourise it in a small glass...
My Share of Sacramental LSD: Wiccans Celebrate a Lunar Eclipse

My Share of Sacramental LSD: Wiccans Celebrate a Lunar Eclipse

My first experience with taking LSD in a ritual context took place in 1980 in a Wiccan community in Northern California. But the event, an observance of the eclipse of the full moon, was by no means my first experience with psychedelics. For the previous 14 years, I had used such psychedelics as LSD and psilocybin as part of a spiritual practice, often during the four years when it seemed to elevate my marriage into a cosmic union; and less often after my 1970 divorce, when I attempted — with very limited success — to reach acid light...
Religious Leaders Tripping on Magic Mushrooms for Science

Religious Leaders Tripping on Magic Mushrooms for Science

Among traditional cultures, psychedelic plants and fungi have long been viewed as spiritual medicines. Indeed, why partake of sacraments such as mushrooms, ayahuasca, or peyote cacti if not for their spiritual power? Yet in the West, where “spirituality” has long been conflated with religion — and where few sacraments aside from communion wafers and a bit of wine are acknowledged — these visionary plants have been viewed with suspicion. That’s all changing. Among progressive scientists, psychedelics are now all the rage. Psilocybin, the active component of “magic” mushrooms, has shown promise in pilot studies for a wide range of applications,...
The Best Psychedelic Tattoos on the Planet

The Best Psychedelic Tattoos on the Planet

Have you ever had a psychedelic experience so intense that you felt it would change your life forever? Did you wish you could immortalize the experience — say, by emblazoning swirling, psychedelic visions upon your skin forever? Okay, neither have I. But a few rare souls must have felt that way, because the tattoos below are undoubtedly psychedelic. From geometric blackwork to cosmic scenes, Alex Grey paintings to peyote cacti, there’s a trippy tat for all tastes. I’ve scoured the Internet to find the 15 coolest psychedelic tattoos on the planet.              ...
Why Dr. Bronner's Soaps Is Donating $5 Million to MAPS

Why Dr. Bronner’s Soaps Is Donating $5 Million to MAPS

This essay by David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner’s and Board Member of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, was first published in the MAPS Bulletin and on drbronner.com. Our family company, Dr. Bronner’s, donates a lot of resources to social justice NGOs and campaigns, including over $1 million to various state-level cannabis legalization campaigns in 2016. Collectively, well north of $40 million was raised in the 2016 election cycle alone to end prohibition and stop the enormous waste of taxpayer and law enforcement resources from ruining the lives of upstanding citizens and their families. Even with the Trump...
"Getting Higher": A Conversation with Author and Occultist Julian Vayne

“Getting Higher”: A Conversation with Author and Occultist Julian Vayne

Julian Vayne is the author of Getting Higher: The Manual of Psychedelic Ceremony — a guide for exploring the use of psychedelic substances in the contexts of spirituality, self-transformation and magic. It’s out now, via the incredible independent publisher, Psychedelic Press UK. I caught up with Julian about why, exactly, psychedelic explorers would want to get even higher, and what it means to be a warlock in the information age.   Hi Julian, thanks very much for joining me. I know I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I have to say Getting Higher looks fascinating....
Hand in Hand: How Psychedelic Harm Reduction Is Making a Difference Now

Hand in Hand: How Psychedelic Harm Reduction Is Making a Difference Now

This essay by Shannon Clare Petitt was originally published in the MAPS Bulletin, Winter 2016 edition. If you believe in MAPS’ mission of furthering psychedelic medicine while promoting harm reduction, please donate to their cause. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) continues to make huge strides towards the goal of establishing psychedelics as legal medicines. In advancing the cause of psychedelic therapy, the organization has also become a repository for experience and techniques essential for assisting people journeying through difficult psychedelic experiences. Psychedelic harm reduction is the practice of creating safe spaces in environments where the use...
The Walls Come Tumbling Down: My First MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Session

The Walls Come Tumbling Down: My First MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Session

This story by Andy Gold first appeared in the MAPS Bulletin, Winter 2016 edition. I went for my first MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session on November 30, 2015, the Monday after Thanksgiving. Was it really a coincidence that the colonoscopy which found a malignant tumor in my colon some years earlier had also taken place on the Monday after Thanksgiving? I think not. Full circle, indeed. I arrived at the site in Marin County, Calif., where the session was to take place, at 9:30 in the morning. One of the study requirements is that you do the sessions while fasting. Someone also...
Deleted "Avatar" Scene Shows Hallucinogenic Vision Quest

Deleted “Avatar” Scene Shows Hallucinogenic Vision Quest

Did you know the script of James Cameron’s Avatar, the 3D blockbuster from 2009, originally called for a full-on psychedelic vision quest? The scene must have gotten cut fairly late in production, because it was filmed with live actors and animation had already begun. The CGI renders were left in a blocky, unfinished state, but it’s easy to tell what’s going on. Titled “The Dream Hunt,” the scene is a fascinating glimpse into the spirituality of Pandora’s native Na’vi culture. The main character, Jake Sulley, agrees to take part in the initiation ceremony, in which he must take potent psychedelics in...